Artificial Hair Fibre Implantation and Surgical Restoration (FUE/FUT)
The impact of hair loss and its associated psychosocial burden is substantial. Over the years, various treatment modalities have been tried with partial success.
The most promising among these is surgical hair restoration (FUE/FUT). However, it has got its own limitation like inadequate donor site. To overcome the need of donor supply, artificial hair fibre was developed.
The very first experiences with artificial hair implants date back to the beginning of the twentieth century. Nonetheless, its greatest evolution did not take place until the 1970’s. Unfortunately mushrooming of many hair fibre producing company due to inappropriate law and regulation lead to the availability of many inadequately tested fibres for human hair replacement with very negative results.
In those years, the technique was often being performed inappropriately by non-medical operators,in non-medical environments and without any medical protocol. That led to frequent unacceptable complications (severe infection, inflammation, broken hair embedded in the scalp, etc.) resulting from unsuitable materials and techniques and was ultimately banned by USFDA in 1983. In 1995, the UE recognized the artificial hair implant technique as a medical act, setting that strict and ethical medical protocols must be followed to ensure the safety of implants and minimize complications. That lead to a check in the procedure being performed by the unqualified person. Subsequent clinical trial and histological studies showing encouraging results and the technique and the available hair fibres are getting finer day by day.
(1.) Ideal artificial hair fibre should be biocompatible, resistant to infection, low risk of trauma and at the same time should be aesthetically acceptable. Biofibre® medical hair prosthetic fibres meet all the biocompatibility and safety requirements established by international standards committees for medical devices.
(2) They are available in 13 colours (Fig.1), with different lengths (15, 30 or 45 centimetres) and in various shapes (straight, wavy, curly and afro) to satisfy different patients requirements.
Biofibre® hair implant is indicated for diffuse alopecia or hair thinning both for male and female patient. This technique ensures an immediate aesthetic result and sufficient quantity of hair in a short time without requiring any donor area. It has also found to be effective in scarring alopecia site due to different causes like burn and injury.
(3) A preliminary visit with tolerance testing is recommended to screen the patients who are not suitable for the fibres implants but also those having pathological skin conditions. The tolerance implant test is performed with 100 fibres and results are evaluated weekly and after four weeks. The implant technique is based on small hooking needles that go out the implanter and hook the Biofibre® root (reversible knot®), placing it under the scalp at galea level. In this way, the root can be held by the fibrous tissue and avoid premature hair loss. The implanter performed by automatic machine allows reaching always the right deepness. The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia.
Possible complications associated with the procedure are infection at implantation site leading to recurrent scalp folliculitis, cellulitis, facial edema, loss of existing hair, scarring and foreign body reaction in case of allergic to artificial hair fibres. (fig 2) To summarize, artificial hair implantation is a safe and effective alternative to surgical hair restoration when the technique is being performed using good quality biocompatible hair fibre under aseptic conditions and by a trained medical person with proper pre-operative screening and post-op care to give aesthetically pleasant results in patients with limited donor availability.
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